As reported previously on this website, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) recently reaffirmed its commitment to broad environmental regulation reform that enhances efficiency and increases certainty for business while maintaining high environmental standards.
The imminent threat of devolving environmental assessment powers to States and Territories vanished. Wildlife Queensland is of the view that has not completely disappeared.
The Labor Party has not ruled such a move out completely. Recently the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbot, committed to reducing ‘red and green tape’ and also committed to handing over approvals to States
‘We will deliver a State-based one-stop shop for environmental approvals to streamline the environmental approval process, reduce costs for business and boost productivity while retaining current high environmental standards.’
It is obvious the Greens also share Wildlife Queensland’s concerns and have introduced an amendment Bill into the Parliament- The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Retaining Federal Approval Powers) Bill 2012. The thrust of this Bill is to retain the Commonwealth’s approval powers and not devolve them to the States and Territories.
Wildlife Queensland appreciates the necessity to achieve a balance between conservation and preservation of our biodiversity and provision for ecologically sustainable industries and recreational opportunities. However, it is well recognised that this balance is not being achieved and it is well established that our biodiversity is in decline.
- Council of Australian Governments Meeting – December 2012
- Environmental Assessment: what is the Federal Government thinking? November 2012
For more information on Wildlife Queensland’s activities, call us on +61 7 3221 0194 or send us an email.